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Poster: utopian Date: Jan 11, 2012 8:42pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: forumites, your thoughts...

"Belushi was born in the United States to Adam Belushi, an Albanian immigrant who left his native village, Qytezë, in 1934 at the age of 15, and to Agnes B. Butchner. He grew up outside Chicago in Wheaton, Illinois, where he was a middle linebacker for the Wheaton Central High School football team, and attended the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and the College of DuPage near Chicago. Belushis younger brother James Belushi is also a successful actor and comedian. John met his future wife, Judy, while a sophomore in high school, and stayed together with her until his death.

Belushis first big break as a comedian occurred in 1971, when he joined The Second City comedy troupe in Chicago, Illinois. Thanks to his uncanny caricature of singer Joe Cockers intense and jerky stage presence, he participated in National Lampoons Lemmings stage show in 1972 (which also featured future Saturday Night Live performers Chevy Chase, Gilda Radner, Bill Murray and Christopher Guest).

From 1973 to 1975 the National Lampoon aired The Radio Hour, a half-hour comedy program syndicated across the country on approximately 600 stations. When original director Michael ODonoghue quit in 1974, Belushi took over the reins until the show was canceled. Other players on the show included future SNL regulars Gilda Radner, Bill Murray, Brian Doyle-Murray and Chevy Chase. Belushi married Judy Jacklin, an associate producer of The Radio Hour. A number of comic segments first performed on The Radio Hour would be translated into SNL sketches in the shows early seasons.


John Belushi as John "Bluto" Blutarsky in Animal House.Belushi achieved national fame for his work on Saturday Night Live, which he joined as an original cast member in 1975. Between seasons of the show, he made one of his best-known movies, Animal House.

As several Belushi biographies have noted, on Johns 30th birthday (in 1979), he had the number one film in the U.S., (Animal House), the number one album in the U.S. (The Blues Brothers "Briefcase Full Of Blues") and Saturday Night Live was the highest-rated late night television program.


John Belushi (right) with Dan Aykroyd in The Blues Brothers.He left Saturday Night Live in 1979 to pursue a film career. Belushi would make four more movies in his career, and three of them, 1941, Neighbors, and most notably The Blues Brothers were made with fellow SNL alumnus Dan Aykroyd.

At the time of his death, Belushi was pursuing several movie projects, including "Noble Rot," an adaptation of a script by former The Mary Tyler Moore Show writer/producer Jay Sandrich entitled "Sweet Deception". Belushi was working with former Saturday Night Live colleague Don Novello, (known for his character Father Guido Sarducci), on rewriting the script. In addition, Belushi was also considering the lead roles in "The Joy Of Sex", a comic adaptation of the Dr. Alex Comfort sex manual, as well as a part in a Louis Malle movie, Moon Over Miami. These projects were abandoned in the wake of his death.

Moreover, the roles of Dr. Peter Venkman in Ghostbusters and Emmett Fitz-Hume in Spies Like Us were written (by Aykroyd) with Belushi in mind. The roles wound up being played by Belushis former SNL castmates Bill Murray and Chevy Chase, respectively. Aykroyd used to joke that the green ghost Slimer in Ghostbusters was "the ghost of John Belushi", given that he had a similar party animal personality.


[edit] Death
Known for his drug usage, which eventually cost him his life, Belushi was found dead on March 5, 1982, at age 33, in a hotel room at the Chateau Marmont on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, California. The cause of death was a speedball, an injection of cocaine and heroin. On the night of his death, he was accompanied by friends Robin Williams and Robert De Niro (at the height of their own drug exploits)[1], who later left the premises, leaving Belushi in the company of Cathy Smith. His death was investigated by forensic pathologist Dr.Ryan Norris among others, and while the findings were disputed, it was officially ruled a drug-related accident.

The case was reopened two months later, when Cathy Smith, a former groupie for The Band and an ex-girlfriend of Gordon Lightfoot [2], admitted in an interview with the National Enquirer that she had been with Belushi the night of his death and had given him the fatal speedball shot. She was arrested and charged with first-degree murder. A plea bargain arrangement reduced the charges to involuntary manslaughter, and she served 18 months in prison.

Belushis life is detailed in the 1985 biography Wired: The Short Life and Fast Times of John Belushi by Bob Woodward. Many friends and relatives of Belushi, including his wife Judy, Dan Aykroyd and Jim Belushi, agreed to be interviewed at length for the book, but later felt the final product was exploitative and not representative of the John Belushi they knew. The book was later adapted into a feature film in which Belushi was played by Michael Chiklis. Belushis friends and family boycotted the film, which proved to be a critical and box-office flop.

John Belushi is interred in Abels Hill Cemetery on Marthas Vineyard Chilmark, Massachusetts. His tombstone reads "I may be gone, but rock n roll lives on."

The Grateful Dead song "West L.A. Fadeaway" is about Belushis death. Belushi was a good friend to the band, especially Jerry Garcia. He even performed with them on occasion in the late 1970s.

His widow later remarried and is now Judy Belushi Pisano. Her biography (with co-biographer Tanner Colby) of her late husband, Belushi, is a collection of first-person interviews and photographs, and was published in 2005."

Qouted From;
http://www.peoplequiz.com/biographies-32013-John_Belushi.html

I too, had always heard the song was about belushi and the hotel where he passed in west Hollywood.

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Poster: Finster Baby Date: Jan 12, 2012 5:49am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: forumites, your thoughts...

Interesting stuff. I never had heard that anyone was charged in his death. Always figured Robin Williams had to be a user of something as nutty as he was/is. Never knew about deNiro though.

Typical Hunter in regards to the West LA lyrics. On one hand it seems like it could be about Belushi, on the other I really can't tell what the hell it's about. LOL

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Poster: rdenirojb87 Date: Jan 12, 2012 9:00am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Bobby D

"Always figured Robin Williams had to be a user of something as nutty as he was/is. Never knew about deNiro though."

Hey man, what Hollywood celebrity wasn't a user of something back then?

Did you know I also persuaded Scorsese to kick his coke habit and make the film Raging Bull? He was very reluctant at first, since he hates sports films! I was very persistent though, and did not give up on him. He likely would have been dead had I not intervened. I also got Tom Sizemore clean. Well, that's enough tooting my own horn for now. Be sure to check out my latest subpar film in a theater near you!

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Poster: RBNW....new and improved! Date: Jan 12, 2012 7:25am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: forumites, your thoughts...

if this song is about the death of John in 1982 how would one explain Robert Hunter performing it in 1981????? An early version by Robert Hunter in a solo performance in November 1981 reveals some differences in the lyrics:

Well I'm looking for a chateau
Fifteen rooms but one will do
Well I'm looking for a chateau
Fifteen rooms but one will do
No I don't want to buy it
I just want to rent it for an hour or two

Chorus
Well, well, well, West L.A.
Well, well, well, fade away
Little red light on the byway
Big green light on the freeway, hey, hey, hey

Oh I quit my job
Running items for the mob
Well I quit my job
Run [right on] hideouts for the mob
Well the payment was pathetic
It's a shame those boys can't be more copacetic
http://www.whitegum.com/introjs.htm?/songfile/WESTLA.HTM

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Jan 13, 2012 6:32am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: forumites, your thoughts...

I'd heard it referred to Belushi, but I never saw it as an explicit thing; I figured it was inspired in part by it, but the "it's about Belushi" interpretation just seemed too pat. That's really interesting if Hunter did perform it in Nov '81. Would love to have more details/proof ... if only to correct the Wikipedia entry :-)

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Poster: RBNW....new and improved! Date: Jan 13, 2012 7:15am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: forumites, your thoughts...

i think there is a bit of confusion as to " written about" and "played in tribute"... just like the dozens of He's Gone's that were played for various deaths over the years the difference being this song was not played until after John's death.

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Poster: utopian Date: Jan 13, 2012 3:47pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: forumites, your thoughts...

Good point about written for vs in tribute too. If the chateau had 21, instead of 15, rooms it would further more substantiate that.

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Poster: rdenirojb87 Date: Jan 12, 2012 9:10am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: forumites, your thoughts...

Well done Rich! I'm surprised you're the first person to mention this.

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Poster: rastamon Date: Jan 12, 2012 7:31am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: forumites, your thoughts...

good research! No connection of lyric's to John's death. Period.

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Poster: user unknown Date: Jan 12, 2012 4:07pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: forumites, your thoughts...

nice catch rich
? answered

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Poster: reviewr Date: Jan 13, 2012 9:02pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: forumites, your thoughts...

Saw a old rerun of "Mork and Mindy" recently. Really terrible tv. Hard to believe Robin Williams is a name we would know.

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Poster: Skobud Date: Jan 12, 2012 5:04am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: forumites, your thoughts...

Im a little blown away by this. I had no idea. if you google West LA Fadeaway - John Belushi comes up as autocomplete...Quick search brings this right up

http://artsites.ucsc.edu/GDead/agdl/wla.html

I had no idea.